St. James Parish President Pete Dufresne announces bid for re-election

Published 8:02 am Wednesday, August 9, 2023

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PAULINA — St. James Parish President Pete Dufresne has announced his candidacy for re-election. Dufresne was elected Parish President in 2019, and he has successfully led St. James Parish through COVID-19, Hurricane Ida and the shuttering of Shell while also fulfilling the promises he made to parish residents four years ago.

“I made a promise to streamline parish operations by taking the politics out of parish government while being transparent in doing so. As a result, we have been able to improve the quality of life for St. James residents while also saving taxpayers well over $9 million,” Dufresne said.

As Parish President, Dufresne successfully met his three main goals for the parish:

  1. Preserve St. James
  2. Advance St. James
  3. Unite St. James

To Preserve the way of life in St. James, Dufresne worked to meet critical needs such as flood protection, drainage and infrastructure.

To Advance St. James, Dufresne prioritized economic diversification by attracting businesses that meet the needs of the people.

To Unite St. James, Dufresne sought to provide equal services to all members of the parish by studying the needs of each district.

As a local business owner and civic leader, Dufresne brought the perspective of a non-politician to the office. This perspective has guided his tenure, and will continue to guide him upon his re-election.

“I may be Parish President, but I’m not a politician. I’m a business owner, and I brought that mindset and experience to parish government. By doing so, I was able to make smart changes that help move our parish forward,” Dufresne said.

Born and raised in St. James Parish, Dufresne is uniquely connected to each of St. James Parish’s diverse districts through family or business. “I have roots in all of St. James Parish, each and every district, so I understand what makes our districts and their needs different from one another. But I am also keenly aware of what unites our people, east bank and west bank, and I have made advancing all of St. James my top priority,” Dufresne said.

A resident of Paulina, Dufresne grew up in Gramercy and graduated from Lutcher High School in 1985. He also graduated with honors from the Nashville Auto Diesel College in 1987. In 1991, Dufresne started DUFECO Trucking Company in Paulina and in 1999 bought a sugar cane operation in Convent. He has successfully operated and grown both businesses since then, and with the help of his sons, he has been able to step back from business operations to dedicate his time to the people of St. James.

Dufresne is the son of Bob and Eva Bourgeois Dufresne, who graduated from St. James High School and are life-long residents of St. James Parish. He is the grandson of former St. James Parish Assessor Ellis Bourgeois, who also owned and operated the Service Inn restaurant in Vacherie. Dufresne has had a desire to serve in parish government since he was very young, thanks to the strong influence of his grandfather.

“As a little boy, I can remember my grandfather going to work for the parish each day, and I saw how much he loved our parish and its people,” he said. “I knew then that one day I would serve in parish government.”

In addition to being a successful businessman, Dufresne has been an industry and civic leader.

“I’m excited to continue the work we started. Together we have made major progress including nine major drainage projects, hurricane protection initiatives, new natural gas purchase points, upgrades to our water distribution systems, and we are working to preserve and rebuild our roads and parks. This is just the beginning, and I humbly ask for your vote as we partner together to continue preserving, advancing and uniting St. James Parish,” Dufresne said.